IEI was founded in 1979 with it's first residence opening in 1982. IEI was created thanks to a group of dedicated parents who worked diligently with the University of Oregon and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to procure funding and build a home for their sons and daughters.
At the time there were no housing options in the Lane County, Oregon, area for adults with physical disabilities. That first home was state-of-the-art for the time, designed to meet the needs of 8 people with physical disabilities who also experienced intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 1985, another parent approached IEI with similar concerns for housing and support services for her daughter. Eventually, a second home was purchased. That two-story home operated as a Foster Home for several years but was eventually sold and replaced with a home nearer the first home.
In 1994, IEI expanded to begin a Supported Living Program. Two people who had previously lived in the first group home moved into specially designed, community-based apartments. One of them married soon after and he and his wife are both still together, supported by IEI 22 years later. At the time, the Register-Guard, Eugene’s primary newspaper, did a major story about this couple. It was quite a tale and wonderful accomplishment for all parties concerned.
In 1998, IEI purchased a forth home for two more people who experienced very complex disabilities. One person had been unsuccessfully supported in a variety of homes over her lifetime. The other person, a young man experiencing autism, had been living with his father, had reached adulthood and was ready for a more appropriate living situation. That home also continues successfully today.
In 2001, IEI received a generous donation enabling us to purchase a fifth home. This home was renovated and specifically designed to support one person with a disability on one side, and separately house the IEI administrative offices on the other side. The home continued in that configuration until 2013. As of this writing, in 2015, the home has been converted to provide three apartments, which are private living quarters for three people. IEI administration is now located at 696 County Club Road.
Between 2003 and 2008 IEI leased a home for three people which was later discontinued in favor of the purchase of a duplex in Eugene. That site was remodeled to meet the needs of five people with I/DD. IEI received over $225,000 in grant funding to make the duplex possible, and is still in operation as well.
in 2014, IEI opened it's 7th home. This 3-person home is the first of its kind in Oregon, supporting people who are deaf and experience I/DD, where staff are proficient in American Sign Language.
In 2016, IEI was approached again by parents looking for a place their son could build a happy, healthy life. IEI remodeled the home to provide a space for their son, as well as two others. Since that time, two more people have moved in to the home.
In 2017, IEI worked with two sets of parents to obtain and open a 9th program to meet the support needs of people with Prader-Willi Syndrome.
The Story Continues
Today, the dedicated people who work and volunteer for IEI continue to support the organization as it grows, smartly, to meet the needs of those we serve.